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Marius Victorinus, an illustrious Roman orator, had become a Christian inwardly, but since he was highly esteemed among the pagans, he did not dare to confess publicly that he was a follower of the Crucified One. One day he said to St. Simplicus: “I am a Christian, but only in secret.” The Saint replied, “As long as you do not profess your faith, and as long as you do not come to church, you are not a Christian. – But do the walls of a building make a Christian? – No, but Christ said, ‘Whoever is ashamed of Me and My teaching before men, the Son of Man will deny him when He appears in His glory.’” (S. Luke 9:26) Victorinus read these passages in the Gospel again, meditated on them seriously, and, stripping himself of all human respect, went to attend the assemblies of the Christians.
One is not a Christian if one does not profess his religion.
In 1273 Count Rudolf of Habsburg was crowned emperor in Aachen by the archbishop of Cologne, Engelbert, in the presence of the electors. The archbishop anointed him with the holy chrism on his head, chest and shoulders, then the electors girded him with the sword, dressed him with the imperial mantle, and the archbishop placed the crown on his forehead. After this ceremony the emperor was to give the electors the investiture of their fiefs, touching them with his scepter: but the scepter had been misplaced, and the emperor took the crucifix from the altar to use it as a scepter. “Here, he said, is the sign of Him who shed His blood for us, the sign of Him who by saving the world is the source of peace and right. This is the scepter which I will use against my enemies and the enemies of the empire.” This solemn oath, which at the same time contained a courageous profession of faith, greatly increased the respect of the people and of the great vassals for the emperor, and God on His part blessed the enterprises of a reign whose beginnings had been placed under the protection of the Cross.
Jesus Christ also asks of us that we profess our faith. “Whoever, He says, acknowledges Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before My Father in Heaven; but whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My heavenly Father.”
Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and of the Mother of God. Amen.
O Jesus! We are going to walk with You on the road to Calvary which was so painful for You. Make us understand the greatness of Your sufferings, touch our hearts with tender compassion at the sight of Your torments, in order to increase in us the regret of our faults and the love we wish to have for You.
Deign to apply to all of us the infinite merits of Your Passion, and in memory of Your sorrows, show mercy to the souls in Purgatory, especially to those who are most abandoned.
O Divine Mary, who first taught us to make the Way of the Cross, obtain for us the grace to follow Jesus with the sentiments Your Heart was filled with as You accompanied Him on the road to Calvary. Grant that we may weep with You, and that we may love Your divine Son as You do. We ask this in the name of His adorable Heart. Amen.
My Jesus, forgiveness and mercy!
By the merits of Thy holy Wounds and the sorrows of Thy Mother.